The spread of cities over 6000 years

Using the results of a recent report by a team of Yale researchers, this visualization shows the growth of cities across the globe from 3700 BCE to the present day.

By 2030, 75 percent of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities. Today, about 54 percent of us do. In 1960, only 34 percent of the world lived in cities.

Anvients cities were far smaller than now and the researchers used the following sizes to define cities.

  1. Ancient (3500 BCE to 1000 BCE) ≥ 10,000 inhabitants
  2. Classical (1000 BCE to 1000 CE) ≥ 100,000 inhabitants
  3. Modern (1000 CE onward) ≥ 1,000,000 inhabitants